Getting Started With Lead Nurturing
So you've got a lead. What the heck do you do with it? Converting leads into sales is the critical part of inbound marketing, but if you're new to lead nurturing where do you start?
Storage & Track
As early as possible, move away from storing customer and prospect information in an Excel spreadsheet and move towards a CRM or contact management solution. An ideal foundation will include a CRM system that integrates easily with a marketing platform and your website. This will enable the tracking of actions your prospects take (visits to a webpage, downloading an ebook, viewing a video, etc.) and the development of lead nurturing tracks customized to operate based on this prospect activity data.
Know Your Goals
Lead nurturing isn't simply taking a lead then collecting a paycheck. It's about warming your prospective client up to you, your company, and your services while getting to know them a little better as well. Know what you want to achieve out of your lead nurturing campaigns, and set S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) to track where you are in your process. By tracking the progress, timeliness, and having an end goal in mind, you'll be more likely to close leads instead of letting them go stale.
Personalize the Message
Lead nurturing is sales nurturing. Inbound marketers must be privy to the personalities of their prospective clients, but the fact of the matter is that most lead nurturing campaigns are automated. This is where good inbound marketing software can set you apart from the competition and give you a competitive advantage. Personalize the messages in your lead nurturing campaigns while tracking who is on you website and what they are doing. No one likes a stale lead nurturing email or response from a bot, so take advantage of the resources available and make your leads know you.
Keep it Simple at First
If you're just getting started with a lead nurturing campaign, like anything else, keep it simple at first. A short, concise, and to the point email campaign with two or three pieces in the workflow can work wonders in a short period of time. Most of your buyers are busy, quick decision makers. They likely won't spend months shopping around for a professional services firm and will likely make their decisions within a matter of weeks. By that logic, use short, concise, and direct lead nurturing workflows to quickly get a response from your leads and close those sales.
Lead nurturing, while invaluable in a quality inbound marketing campaign, certainly isn't rocket science and doesn't have to be. Know your goals, be personal, and keep things simple to get started, and you'll see a great deal of success and development in your campaigns. Keep in mind, nothing is permanent nor set in stone. Make tweaks and adjustments, perform A/B testing, and see what works best for you along the way.
Image courtesy of United Soybean Board.